Landlocked arctic charr, also known as blueback trout, silver trout, sunapee trout and white trout, are listed as one of two freshwater species of special concern by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. These beautiful fish are seldom seen very far south in the warmer waters and as a result Maine and Alaska are the only regions in the US to have a native population of arctic charr.
Landlocked arctic charr prefer a colder climate with a plentiful supply of oxygen, so it pays dividends to do a little research before heading out on your fishing trip. There are only around 20 lakes in Maine that contain landlocked arctic charr, and half of these have been artificially stocked to promote both the breeding of the species and to provide an extra special catch for the more determined anglers. During the spring and fall months, you can typically find landlocked arctic charr throughout the lake, though during the warmer summer months, the fish are restricted to the coldest, deepest parts of the lake.
Popular spots for catching landlocked arctic charr in Maine include Moosehead Lake, the west branch of the Penobscot River and Rainbow Lake. Don’t be surprised if you are expected to do a little trekking a number of the lakes in Maine still home to arctic charr are inaccessible by road.
Your best method of catching landlocked arctic charr will depend on what time of year you are fishing. During the cooler spring and fall months, when the charr are found throughout the lake, fly-fishing and trolling the surface with lures can bring fantastic rewards. When the fish move deeper during the warmer summer months, much more success can be found using deeper lures or jigs.
Following the near extinction of landlocked arctic charr in the region, it comes as little surprise that so few lakes and rivers still contain the species. However, through careful planning and protection by authorities, the population of landlocked arctic charr is now stable, allowing hundreds of anglers from across the country the rare chance to land these beautiful fish.
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